News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | July 26, 2019

Cooperative agreement supports enhancements for commercially available RadioGenix System and technology to increase NorthStar’s current production capacity of non-uranium based Mo-99

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes Awarded $30 Million by U.S. Department of Energy

July 26, 2019 — NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC has been awarded $15 million in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA). The agreement comes as part of an industry outreach initiative to establish reliable domestic molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production without the use of highly enriched uranium. NorthStar will use funds from the award to further advance its current neutron capture technology which enables non-uranium based production of the important medical radioisotope Mo-99. Funds will also be used in continuing development of enhancements for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and commercially available RadioGenix System (technetium 99m generator). The RadioGenix System uses reliable, domestic, non-uranium based Mo-99 to supply physicians and their patients with the most widely used diagnostic imaging radioisotope, technetium 99m (Tc 99m).

NorthStar recently completed construction on a 20,000-square-foot facility expansion in Beloit, Wis., which the company believes will more than double production capacity for Mo-99 Source Vessels upon equipment installation and FDA approval. Additionally, NorthStar President and CEO Stephen Merrick said that, pending expected FDA approval this year, two state-of-the-art fill lines at the company’s Columbia, Mo., facility will increase the number of weekly Mo-99 Source Vessel shipments they are able to deliver to customers. 

DOE/NNSA supports the establishment of a reliable domestic supply of Mo-99 produced in the United States without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU). With support from Congress, DOE/NNSA is providing $15 million for each of four cooperative agreements awarded under a recent Funding Opportunity Announcement. As with all DOE/NNSA cooperative agreements for domestic Mo-99 partners, DOE/NNSA matches NorthStar funding dollar for dollar, with the current agreement capped at a $30 million total in funds from both parties. NorthStar was selected by DOE/NNSA based on the evaluations and recommendations of an independent technical review panel. With inclusion of the current and past awards, NorthStar has been awarded a total of $65 million in cooperative agreements by DOE/NNSA.

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